2020 AAHA Anesthesia and Monitoring Guidelines for Dogs and Cats*

Tamara Grubb, Jennifer Sager, James S. Gaynor, Elizabeth Montgomery, Judith A. Parker, Heidi Shafford, Caitlin Tearney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


Risk for complications and even death is inherent to anesthesia. However, the use of guidelines, checklists, and training can decrease the risk of anesthesia-related adverse events. These tools should be used not only during the time the patient is unconscious but also before and after this phase. The framework for safe anesthesia delivered as a continuum of care from home to hospital and back to home is presented in these guidelines. The critical importance of client communication and staff training have been highlighted. The role of perioperative analgesia, anxiolytics, and proper handling of fractious/fearful/aggressive patients as components of anesthetic safety are stressed. Anesthesia equipment selection and care is detailed. The objective of these guidelines is to make the anesthesia period as safe as possible for dogs and cats while providing a practical framework for delivering anesthesia care. To meet this goal, tables, algorithms, figures, and “tip” boxes with critical information are included in the manuscript and an in-depth online resource center is available at aaha.org/anesthesia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-82
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of the American Animal Hospital Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
*These guidelines are supported by generous educational grants from IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., Midmark, and Zoetis Petcare. They were subjected to a formal peer-review process.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2020.


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